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The Spring Festival in Mei Tang Village

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Written by: CHEN Jin
Photo by:CHEN Jin
Edited by:James Campion, LI Wanxin |  Date:2016/02/2826 Hits

In Guang Xi Province, there is a small village named Mei Tang. Surrounded by green hills, it has a population of about 2,000. With the Spring Festival approaching, Mei Tang Village is really beginning to hum.

 

Villagers are busy preparing for the joyous Spring Festival. They always make a traditional food, Fen Li. People ground rice into a thick pulp and then shape it into stripes. At last, they steam it in the steamer. When taken out of the steamer, Fen Li is soft. It will be soaked in water after it becomes hard. Fen Li symbolizes good luck and it can be consider their staple food. It is usually cooked with pork, vegetables and pickles.

 

Fen Li

People who work in cities will return home with happiness. On New Year’s Eve, families sit at the table to celebrate the festival. As for the food, chicken, duck and fish are common. However, the duck dish is special in Guang Xi Province. It is called Lemon Juice Duck. People use pickled lemons to make the sauce. The delicious dish tastes salty, sweet and sour. Guang Xi people like this dish very much.

 

On the lunar New Year’s Day, people in this village usually do not visit others. They will spend the whole day making Zongzi. Zongzi made on this day is much larger than that on Dragon Boat Festival. Families cooperate with each other, tired but happy. Most of the Zongzi they make will become gifts when people pay visits to others. There is also a custom that if someone dies this year, his or her family cannot make Zongzi and other people should send theirs to them.

 

the making of Zongzi 

Villagers are occupied with worship the next day. They get up early in the morning and kill a chicken. The order of places they worship is important. First, they should worship the god of the earth. Then, they will go to a temple, San Jie Temple. It is famous throughout the region. Finally, people gather at their ancestral house and worship their ancestors together.

 

San Jie Temple

 

After the worship, people begin to visit others. Adults chat with each other and children are happy setting off firecrackers. At the same time, they begin preparing for another feast. People call it Kai Nian. It literally means the new start of the New Year. The day people choose to celebrate Kai Nian is up to themselves. People in Mei Tang Village usually decide to celebrate it on the second day of the lunar month. They will have a big meal, after which some adults will return to their positions.

 

      We know that there are many villages in China. Mei Tang Village is just one of them. Customs of the Spring Festival vary from region to region. What we should pay attention to is the protection of such traditional customs of Chinese traditional festivals.